Many cheerful members of the Ferndown Allotment Association gathered at Longham Allotment Gardens on Saturday 15 March to witness the official opening by Ferndown Mayor, Cllr Pauline Reynolds and Richard Dean, Chair of Ferndown Allotment Association (FAA).
Richard Dean described how due to poor management and under-funding “less than a year ago, this very spot was a rat-infested, overgrown horticultural eyesore.” The transformation has been complete since Ferndown Town Council took the decision to purchase the site and provide 71 allotments for residents.
Richard Dean made particular mention of Cllr Jean Read, Cllr Steve Lugg, Cllr Lyn Ovens and the previous Chair of the FAA, David Edwards for their positive attitude and commitment which facilitated this amenity for the people of Ferndown.
Cllr Jean Read spoke on behalf of the Council and outlined the benefits to the community of the allotments.
Since taking over the site in December 2012, Ferndown Town Council in partnership with the FAA have achieved the following improvements:
- brought uncultivated land into use with 100% occupancy
- sub-divided some larger allotments to provide many medium and smaller plots, so that allotments are now provided to 71 residents and their families
- improved the trackways and made new pathways
- increased site security
- created a car-park
- set aside a community area for use by the FAA
- cut back overgrown hedges and trees
After the ceremony of cutting of the ribbon and a balloon release, members of the FAA treated guests to a buffet. The event was attended by members of the FAA, allotment holders, councillors, the town clerk and other council staff. A special vote of thanks was given to Mr Hendra as the Town Council’s lead officer for Allotments.